Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion

Discussion in 'Serious Discussion' started by emk810, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. emk810

    emk810 MDL Member

    May 12, 2016
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    #1 emk810, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    People are exposed to persuasive communication across many different contexts: Governments, companies, and political parties use persuasive appeals to encourage people to eat healthier, purchase a particular product, or vote for a specific candidate.

    Laboratory studies show that such persuasive appeals are more effective in influencing behavior when they are tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics.

    However, the investigation of large-scale psychological persuasion in the real world has been hindered by the questionnaire-based nature of psychological assessment.

    Recent research, however, shows that people’s psychological characteristics can be accurately predicted from their digital footprints, such as their Facebook Likes or Tweets.

    Capitalizing on this form of psychological assessment from digital footprints, we test the effects of psychological persuasion on people’s actual behavior in an ecologically valid setting.

    In three field experiments that reached over 3.5 million individuals with psychologically tailored advertising, we find that matching the content of persuasive appeals to individuals’ psychological characteristics significantly altered their behavior as measured by clicks and purchases.

    Persuasive appeals that were matched to people’s extraversion or openness-to-experience level resulted in up to 40% more clicks and up to 50% more purchases than their mismatching or unpersonalized counter parts.

    Our findings suggest that the application of psychological targeting makes it possible to influence the behavior of large groups of people by tailoring persuasive appeals to the psychological needs of the target audiences.

    We discuss both the potential benefits of this method for helping individuals make better decisions and the potential pitfalls related to manipulation and privacy.

    Significance

    Building on recent advancements in the assessment of psychological traits from digital footprints, this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of psychological mass persuasion—that is, the adaptation of persuasive appeals to the psychological characteristics of large groups of individuals with the goal of influencing their behavior. On the one hand, this form of psychological masspersuasion could be used to help people make better decisions and lead healthier and happier lives. On the other hand, it could be used to covertly exploit weaknesses in their character and persuade them to take action against their own best interest, highlighting the potential need for policy interventions.

    Continue reading: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/48/12714.full.pdf
     
  2. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    Believe it or not, that touches into biblical prophesy.... I could have never comprehended this 30 yrs ago
     
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  3. emk810

    emk810 MDL Member

    May 12, 2016
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    Well, some only believe experts :)
     
  4. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    Not asking anyone to believe anything, just that prophesy from 2000 yrs ago is in alignment with what is happening today.. well almost. It did predict tracking of everybody on the entire planet
     
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  5. MS_User

    MS_User MDL Guru

    Nov 30, 2014
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    well but the OP is talking about targeted advertisement now days we know how to present something in a specific way to a group of people that will respond positive to it.....for me no matter what or how u present it i know manipulation when i see it...and i see every day every were thats part of the modern life we live in is sad but what can u do....unless u go live in a secluded jungle some were;)
     
  6. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Senior Member

    Oct 15, 2014
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    Hardly a new idea:

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”

    - An explanation of the concept of "engineering consent" from the book "Propaganda" written by Edward L. Bernays in 1928. Shortly after publishing this book, he was hired by William S. Paley, who was the founder of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Imagine that.
     
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  7. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    "We the sheeple of the United States, in order to form a better influence from others..."
     
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  8. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

    Oct 25, 2015
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    I, for the most part agree with that. In my lifetime alone, just look at the newscasts by Walter Cronkite relating to the Vietnam war, then look at his interviews in the 90's after he retired. ;)